ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : LS-06-031

Date Created : 09/26/2005


Co-op Directors
Elementary Principals
other: LEA Supervisors

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Optional
Section:   Learning Services - Dr. Diana Julian, Assistant Commissioner
Special Ed Programs: SIG Training in Positive School Discipline

Regulatory Authority:
20 U.S.C. 1400-1487

Contact Person:
Dr. Howie Knoff

Phone Number:


The Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education Unit, under its federally-funded State Improvement Grant (SIG), is expanding and enhancing effective services to schools, staff, at-risk students, and students with disabilities across the state.  A major initiative within the SIG is to implement Positive Behavioral Self-Management Systems (PBSS) that integrate school-wide discipline, social skills, behavior management, student accountability, and safe school activities into a comprehensive process at the elementary school level.  PBSS approaches are emphasized throughout the reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and helps schools to meet school safety and other significant provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Except for those districts that participated last year, the first phase of PBSS begins as superintendents nominate at least a five-person team to participate in a series of up to five training events that will help districts gain a functional understanding of critical PBSS components and strategies at the elementary school level.  Training will be held in the greater Little Rock area; it will be free of charge to all participants (with coffee, lunches, and snacks provided); it will be held for one day per month from January 2006 through April 2006; and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attendance will be provided.  Every member of a district team will be expected to attend every session.  Districts will be responsible only for travel and any needed over-night accommodations.

During the four in-service sessions, the following topics will be addressed:

·        The components of a Positive Behavioral Self-Management System (PBSS)
·        The research evidence underlying the PBSS
·        How to establish a well-functioning School Discipline/Positive Climate Committee and identify behavioral intervention resources
·        How to establish a well-functioning SPRINT (School Prevention, Review, and Intervention Team) process relative to “pre-referral” interventions and “response-to-intervention” processes 
·        How to write an effective school-based discipline plan with appropriate annual school improvement goals
·        How to collect and analyze student discipline data using the ADDRESS (the Automated Discipline Data, Review, and Evaluation Software System); and how to collect and formatively analyze student referral and school climate data
·        How to design and implement an effective school-wide accountability system for student behavior
·        How to prepare for the implementation of a school-wide social skills program
·        How to integrate the PBSS with school-based mental health services
·        How to involve parents and community partners in PBSS activities

For more information about this in-service series, go to the “Goal 2” area of the State Improvement Grant website: .

This PBSS initiative is superintendent-directed, implemented through the Arkansas Consolidated School Improvement Plan (ACSIP) process, and focused at the systems level.  The explicit goals of the PBSS process include:  increasing students’ academic engagement and achievement (especially at-risk and underachieving students and those with disabilities); increasing these students’ social and self-management skills; decreasing discipline referrals to the principal’s office and suspensions and expulsions for all of these student groups; increasing staff skills and consistency relative to positive approaches to discipline and behavior management; and increasing parent support, skills, and participation in all of these areas.

Upon completion of these training sessions and beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, a small number of districts selected through an application and needs assessment process will begin a two- to- three-year process to include receipt of on-site professional development and technical assistance from SIG personnel focused on the comprehensive implementation of the PBSS at selected elementary schools in the district.  Full implementation will require commitments from the district relative to staff involvement, professional development and in-service time, and the purchase of support materials.

To participate in this training, superintendents need to nominate a five-person PBSS Leadership Team by October 31st.  The PBSS Leadership Team should include a relevant administrator who is either on the superintendent’s staff or who has direct access to the superintendent; an elementary school principal; a district-level student services or related service professional (school psychologist, counselor, social worker); a district-level or school improvement team leader; and a general or special education classroom teacher.  

The District Commitment Form to participate in this training is attached.  The completed form should be e-mailed to Dr. Howard M. Knoff, SIG Director, by October 31st.


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